Sunday, 19 April 2015

The Chantelle Spirit - French Allure

This week I was invited to a talk on lingerie from the french brand Chantelle.  I learnt a lot about the importance of caring and looking after my breasts - not only for my health, but also to make sure that after investing time and money in a fabulous new outfit, it doesn't get spoilt by wearing the wrong underwear.




We all got the chance to have a fitting ourselves; my lovely fitter was showing me how my own bra was not covering my entire breast and how I should perhaps consider an alternative style, that would still give me the same uplift and extra protection.

She also showed me exactly where my straps should sit, both on my shoulder and across my back - explaining for great posture that my breasts should be aligned in the middle of my shoulder and my elbow.

Throughout the whole session I learned some great facts that I would love to share with you so in a typical style of "did you know" here goes!


DID YOU KNOW...
  • Breast shapes and sizing will change throughout your life
  • 80% of women are wearing the wrong size or wrong shape bra.
  • It's more likely your are wearing a bra that's too small for you rather than too big
  • You can drop a dress size! By wearing a correctly fitted bra
  • Wearing the right size and shape bra for you can reduce back and shoulder pain
  • When you get your first fitting - that's not your size for life!  
  • Your breast change all the time depending on your hormones, your diet and most importantly on any weight gain or loss - so you should be looking to get yourself fitted by an expert every 6-12 months
  • D-cup is a very average size in the UK
  • Not every style of bra will suit all women
  • Be careful when minimising, especially if your more than an E cup - your breasts have to go somewhere!


"Chantelle's expertise lies in the ability to give women that french allure, bringing out the femininity of every women."





We spent some time talking about teenagers and the importance of their first fit - ensuring a daughter has a great experience when trying out bras for the first time and learning how to put them on properly.  

If you are taking a teenager shopping for a bra, here are a few important points to consider:
  • Teenagers under the age of fifteen years should not be wearing bras with wires in them
  • It's important that when you fit a bra on teenagers under the age of 15 that the fit is on the tightest hook (unlike for adults) because as they grow over the next 6-12 months the hook can be released to allow for this change
  • Get them professionally fitted


"More than 130 years of expertise to achieve perfection… one second to experience it"


IT'S ALL ABOUT QUALITY

The Chantelle's spirit of French Allure cannot be explained.  Parisian, bold, spontaneous… It is shown in a gesture, a look, a posture and in the very French "je ne sais quoi" way, which elevates women to the sublime.

Chantelle invest a lot of time and development in quality - with over twenty-six components to a bra, compared to as low as five components on cheap bras; each component has a purpose to ensure that the fit and shape will enhance your body, so when you buy into Chantelle you need to think of this as an investment piece that you need to look after.  

Think about how you invest in a good quality foundation for your make-up, you do this because you want your make-up looking it's best throughout the entire day.  Well the same philosophy applies to having the right bra and brief, it is an important foundation to your outfit day or evening!  

Have you thought about the colour of underwear you wear?  We all know that you should never where white under white , but apparently if you wear a pink-tone red bra this can't be seen under a white t-shirt - how fabulous is that?! 

You can also get away with grey, blues and purples under black garments without it being seen in photos unlike white bras under the wrong light!  In fact I'm beginning to think there is no purpose for a white bra!

So explore colour as a bit of fun and if you don't fancy investing a lot of money for these, then look out for them in a sale.






CARE, CARE & CARE SOME MORE

Caring for you bras are just as important, here are a few tips from Chantelle on how to:
  • Don't fold the cups of your bra
  • When packing them in a suitcase, pad them out with your knickers or tights so that they keep their shape
  • Chantelle recommends to hand wash your bras; however if you do use the washing machine then invest in a lingerie bag or put them in a pillow case, this protects your machine for any damage caused by the wires
  • Wash bras on 30 degrees or less on the shortest wash possible - they only need freshening up
  • Use non-bio fabric cleaner
  • Buy two briefs for each bra and wash them with the bra so that the colours age together
  • Your bras should be fitted on the outside hook, and as they age over time, you should move on up to the next hook until your on your last - then you need to re-purchase
  • Put your bra on correctly, by leaning forward and fastening them up at the back - avoid fastening from the front and twisting, this not only damages the bra but it's unlikely your breasts will be in the correct position
  • Your daily bras have a product life of less than 12 months - the rule is your bra should never have a birthday!


WHERE TO BUY?

You can purchase Chantelle lingerie from Independents across the country - just check their website for a list.

You can also buy from:

  • Selfridges
  • Harrods
  • John Lewis
  • House of Fraser
  • Fenwicks
  • Figleaves.com


THERE'S MORE TO COME

In desperate need of a new sports bra, I was really impressed with their newly launched Sports bra. Once I take delivery of my new grey sporty bra I'll be writing another post explaining how important it is to wear one whilst exercising and the care you need to give it throughout it's life.  I know that some of my readers love running, particularly their half-marathans so look out for this over the next few weeks!






WHAT I WORE

Spring was definitely in the air and It was a great feeling to get my jumpsuit on with my high-heel sandals.  Nothing beats spring-time in London!


Coatigan: Phase Eight (current season), Jumpsuit: Wallis, Gold belt: M&S, Sunglasses: Chanel, Tan sandals: New Look (current season)

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Spring Trend: Coatigans

So I am in Oxford shopping, looking for a Spring coat that I can wear at weekends. I decided that I would walk into every single ladies shop along this particular road, regardless of brand, to see what they have and to broaden my shopping choices from my usual haunts.

I found myself in Phase Eight, and I pick up this cream garment and say to the shop assistant "Is this a coat or a cardigan?" - well can you imagine my face when she responded "it's a coatigan!".  We did have a laugh and she convinced me that this is what it was and that it was going to be ideal for now and over the summer months.

Well since wearing it I've had lots of lovely compliments; I'd wear it a little more often but I just need the weather to get a tad warmer.  This coatigan is going to give me a lot of flexibility - I can wear it with day dresses, jeans, trousers and my favourite jumpsuit.  

Bring on the better weather, because I'm loving my coatigan!

Phase Eight
Judie Textured Coatigan

£79.00

Phase Eight

I love the texture of this garment; it really adds style to an outfit.

Phase Eight

And here's me with one of my outfits of the day (#OOTD) on Instagram

You can follow me on Instagram @lovedbylizzi



I've found a few that you might like to get your hands on!

Jigsaw
Double Faced Coatigan

£149.00

Jigsaw


Warehouse Coatigan 
Navy
Was £48, Now £30

Warehouse

Oasis
Longline Cable Coatigan
Was £40, Now £22

Oasis




Sunday, 29 March 2015

Nottingham Indie Fashion Week



Today's post comes to you from guest blogger Hayley Eleanor Smith


The first Nottingham Indie Fashion Week aimed to bring together all the best fashion talent from across the city. It was a free ticket event with donations going to Emmanuel House. I had been invited by fabulous designer Fazane Malik who was showcasing her new spring/summer collection.

The first event was the Fabric of Nottingham Fashion Show which was held at the stunning St Marys Church on High Pavement. I knew we were in for something special when the walk up to the Church was lined with amazing eco tealight holders from Sarah Turner

Inside it was a hive of bustling activity and luckily the show had not started, as we were slightly late after having to quell our rumbling stomachs! Unluckily for us all the good seats near the stage were taken, so when the show started I snuck to a spot behind a Midsummers Night Tree for a better view.

There were fourteen amazing designers showcasing their collections with everything from bespoke bridal wear by Angela Vickers to mens smoke-room-styled lounge wear from Daniel Hanson and pocket watch pendants from Clockwork Lobster

My standout favourites were Callecia J Brown’s tailored and sophisticated blouses featuring back drapes and puffed sleeves, with intricate tailored waistcoats and jackets. The collection embodies the womanly form and would be so flattering on.

JC Middlebrook had some amazing wearable lace pieces, which sadly I felt weren't given the spotlight they needed in the darkened Church. 

I could see Harriet Kjellman’s scandinavian inspired pieces would be easy to wear with flowing fabrics and jerseys. Simplicity at its best.

Having had a corset handmade several years ago I was thrilled to see Eternal Spirits Victorian corseted creations. Although they didn’t look the most comfortable for all the models, they were a truly stunning design and i can appreciate the craftmanship which goes into such pieces.

The evening was poignantly closed by my friend Fazane Malik who showcased her Grey Collection. The pieces are so wearable and designed with real women in mind. The garments are all beautifully made and finished exquisitely with Fazane’s signature print.

All the designers were fabulous and it made me realise that with a bit of searching there is so many amazing independent designers out there that you should look beyond the High Street to pick up something unique and fabulously made. I hope that it is the start of a new regular event on the Nottingham calendar.  




For those of you who get these posts by e-mail you will need to click here to view the film on Nottingham Indie Fashion Week


Hayley Eleanor Smith is an Image Consultant and Personal Stylist around the Nottingham area - you can check out her website but clicking here.  You can also check out what she has to say in 140 characters on Twitter here.




Thursday, 26 March 2015

Alexander McQueen - Savage Beauty

A mix of some of the postcards from the official set - via the V&A gift shop


On Sunday I went to the V&A to see an exhibition; this wasn’t just any exhibition, this was Alexander McQueen’s Savage Beauty event and it was one of the most creative and inspiring exhibits I’ve been to.

Personally, I’ve never been that madly in love with his designs, but over the last few years I’ve gained a fondness for him and his creations through my love of Isabella Blow.  Now seeing his collections in this spectacular way, I have a complete change of heart – the man was a genius!


Left: Philip Treacy for Alexander McQueen - Hand-painted turkey feathers  - La Dame Bleue Spring/Summer 2008
Right: Silk tulle with lace and resin antlers - Widows of Culloden Autumn/Winter 2006

The curator for this show has done a fabulous job of making these mannequins come alive – usually when you go to some of these exhibits you walk around and you say to yourself “yeah this is nice” or “wouldn’t wear that!!” and so on, and really all your looking at are the clothes. Not here, not in this show.  The room is alive with fantasy and drama – the clothes are a mix of different fabrics and finishes - it blows your mind!  


The room I loved most was the “Cabinets of Curiosity” – you could sit in this room all day, and I bet you will still haven’t seen everything Alexander McQueen has to give.


From tartan, to feathers, to leather, to masks to outrageous shoes that make Irregular Choice look well regular!  If you can, this is a must attend event for all fashionistas!  It’s not on for very long, August 2nd and tickets are selling fast, so get them booked as it’s the best show in town!


Left: Silk jacquard with enamel embroidery - Plato's Atlantis Spring/Summer 2010
Right: McQueen wool tartan, silk net, lace, tulle and leather - Widows of Culloden Autumn/Winter 2006



The images in this post are taken by me from the postcards I purchased – as cameras are not allowed.





Thursday, 19 March 2015

Smoothies: Go Green!

Image from Google

I’ve been asked by quite a few readers to have more recipes on smoothies – in fact I’m beginning to think I should get in touch with Nutribullet and ask them to give me commission on each sale I make. I think I’ve encouraged at least 5-8 being sold since I purchased mine in October!

I’ve been reading lots about smoothies and enjoy looking at recipes since I started to have them as my daily breakfast; and I feel GREEN is the only way to go!   

Back in October, having to make them and then try to drink it was a really hard task – I wasn’t exactly overjoyed with my new breakfast choice but I did understand that it was much healthier than my usual sultana bran and semi-skimmed milk.

Five months on and I have a very different view on this.  I can’t imagine going without one for a couple of days – in fact the last time I was away I couldn’t have one for about four days and I was craving them when I got home – sounds strange but it’s true.  It only takes three weeks to change a habit, so if you can persist it does get easier and then it becomes the norm.

So why green?  Well you can put berries like raspberries or blueberries, but that changes only two factors: the colour and it makes it sweeter.  The healthier smoothies have more vegetables in them; like kale, spinach and celery, which by the way I cannot stand celery but within a smoothie you cannot taste it at all.

The other key thing with adding more vegetables, your adding less sugar.  Try to avoid more than 2-3 fruits in a smoothie or it's actually not that great for you.  The other point about veg that I'd like to make, it goes in RAW.  I’ve been quite surprised how many people have asked me if I boil or steam them first – Nope, they go in washed, chopped and very much raw.

Here’s a guide to what to put in; try and avoid making the same one every day, as you want to get as many different fruits and vegetables into your digestive system throughout the week.


Green Recipe for one person
(if you are making for two people try half amounts and get more different items in!)


  • Handful of spinach or a handful of Kale
  • Couple of leaves of lettice
  • ½ stick of celery
  • ¼ of a large cucumber
  • 1 avocado or 1 small banana – this gives your smoothie thickness so don’t add both and ideally half & half
  • ½ lemon without rind and pips
  • Handful of mint leaves approx 5
  • 1 pear or 1 green apple
  • 1 kiwi
  • Consider what nuts you want to add in - when I have apple I tend to opt for cashew and when I have pear I opt for walnuts
  • 2 teaspoons of milled Flaxseeds
  • Now for the liquid – the more you add the easier it will be to drink it.  Nutribullet have a MAX line that you should not go pass.  I would suggest that you opt for cold water, but if you fancy  a change and want it more creamy then either add almond milk or if you want it sweeter add coconut milk, but avoid adding milks each day – use it as a treat!
  • And then blend.... my recommendation would be with a Nutribullet :)


If you start to have a go, leave a comment as we'd all love to read them and if you have any tips of your own please pass them on!











Saturday, 14 March 2015

The Woman I Wanted To Be by Diane von Furstenberg

A few months ago a great programme came to an end on the E channel; House of DVF.  The show was about a group of young woman who were going to be whittled down to just the one, and she was going to be DVF's Brand Ambassador for the year.

As with all these reality programmes; we are all more interested in the "behind the scenes" rather than being concerned about who is actually going to win!  Surprisingly we got to see Diane von Furstenberg in the programme more than I was anticipating - and as a result I found her quite interesting - this got me keen to read her latest book: The Woman I Wanted To Be.

A powerful title, and actually quite a powerful story that goes with it!

She's a daughter of a Belgium Holocaust survivor, and she tells her story under two main headings; The Woman I Am and The Business of Fashion.  I found that the format of her autobiography much better than others I've read - sometimes the childhood era can go on for far too long.  Diane does go into some depth, but she keeps these early years to a minimum.

I was surprised about how open she was about the affairs she's had in her life, referring to herself frequently  as "a man living in a woman's body".  Fiercely independent and has a tendency to over-indulge herself in her latest fad - she's not always had it easy in life.  For a woman who has built a business on a title as a Princess and who has lost her fortune more than once - whilst I have some admiration for her, I've not really finished the book thinking "I wish I had her life!".

A very interesting read! 



Click here to view


I've updated my reading list on Loved by Lizzi blog - you can have a look at the latest ones by clicking here.



Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Dressing Well at Work- At Any Age!

Today's post comes from guest blogger, Catherine Bruce from Style & Coach 

My friend and career coach Sandra Green at www.handbagsintheboardroom.com conducted a recent survey where, among other questions, she asked career women to express their concerns  regarding their image and dress at work. Some of  her respondents were concerned about ‘how to dress professionally in an age appropriate way with flair and style without looking dowdy or dated’. She asked me to address this question and I offered the following advice:


I am certain that the shops are full of clothes that are age appropriate, stylish and on trend for women in their 40’s,50’s,60’s and beyond….. I am sure of this, as I am one of them and so are many of my clients I take personal shopping! There is absolutely no need to look frumpy or dowdy. The key questions you need to answer confidently are: ‘do these styles, shapes and colours flatter my colouring, my body shape and do they fit the ethos and mood of my organisation?’ Do they send out the ‘right’ message about my role and what I am aspiring to achieve.

I suggest you set aside a time at home when you will not be interrupted and go through your wardrobe, taking a serious look at whether each item still looks current (chances are if it’s over 3 years old it may be dated), if it still fits you and if you feel really comfortable wearing it to work. Is it still in good condition with no stains or worn collars, cuffs and hem lines?  Ask yourself if it suits your shape and colouring and can be worn easily with other items in your wardrobe such as separates and accessories. Can it be altered or dry cleaned if you love it but it lacks currency or fit? If not, be ruthless and ditch it.

I think it’s far better to have fewer suitable, quality clothes that make you feel good rather than a shed load of outdated, dare I say, ‘mutton dressed as lamb’ outfits and/or ill fitting, unflattering clothes. Try to gradually replace discarded items with current, stylish ones that will match other items in your wardrobe. Keep an eye on manikins in good quality shops to get an idea of what looks good and is current but beware of buying clothes that don’t suit your particular shape.

It’s best not to confuse what you would wear for a night out with the girls, a hot date or a casual weekend activity with work wear unless you are in a very relaxed or creative industry. Even then, exercise caution and pay attention to what senior women in the company or corresponding companies are wearing and follow suit, within your budget.

When it comes to whether or not you should wear a skirt above the knee over the age of 40, I think the answer depends on whether you’ve got great legs or not. A shorter skirt may flatter your legs in opaque tights and still look suitable for work.  However, be aware that the more flesh you reveal, the more authority you may lose. Also be aware that professional clothing should skim the body rather than cling. Clingy clothes, like bare flesh are not professional and will detract attention from the key part of your body that carries your message: your face. They can also make you look as though you are trying too hard to look ‘young’.

It’s advisable to ask yourself what message the clothes you wear sends  out to others about you? Try to think of three words that you would like others at work to use when describing you. For example, ‘professional, knowledgeable, approachable’ Ensure your clothes, grooming and behaviour at work reflect your chosen words. These then become your ‘personal brand’ that should ensure your receive positive recognition for the job you do.
 
It’s a good idea to notice the mature /senior women in your organisation or related organisations who are successful and confident and look carefully at the way they dress. Accessories, especially tasteful necklace and scarves that draw attention to the face are the finishing touches that complete an outfit. Quality watches and handbags also speak volumes but remember, less is more when it comes to accessorising. As a more mature woman, it is important that you go for quality rather than high fashion and quantity.

Good tailoring is very important for flattering mature women. It is worth investing in a few well tailored quality items such as a fantastic pair of neutral trousers  or jacket that can be mixed and matched with a variety of less expensive tops.

Keep your hairstyle current and flattering. Get the best cut you can possibly afford. You can colour it yourself but the cut is crucial. Having the same hairstyle you had when you left college 20 +years ago can look very dated!

Good luck, enjoy your age - you’ve earned all the wisdom and experience that goes with it and enjoy the wonderful confidence that comes with looking good- at any age, size or shape! 


To find out more about Catherine and the services she offers through Style and Coach, click here.


Saturday, 7 March 2015

L.K Bennett at Oxford Fashion Week #OFW


Thursday night I attend The Cosmopolitan Show for Oxford Fashion Week, held at The Randolph Hotel. The curator for this show was Antonia Mackay and the Runway Director was Tiffany Saunders, who both gave a little speech about the designers and the theme of the night, which for these sets were based on the 70's discos.

Oxford Fashion Week put on a great show, my front row ticket was £15 and I got a little goodie bag for that too.  Whilst there were many good designers showcasing their current season, like Be Unlimited, Karen Gold, Olivia May, Rhona Anne plus more, the two sets I loved the most were both by L.K Bennett.

The spring trend of florals was very much in the L.K Bennett line, and I just loved all the colours that were on show.  So because of this, all the images you see in this post are from L.K Bennett.







I've used Instagram to show off some of my favourite from the show…




If you want to check out more photos from the show plus The Lingerie show that followed - then photographer Bertie Beor-Roberts took some fabulous shots, simply click here to view.


SHOP THE LOOK

Ulio Drape Neck Jumpsuit
£325



Lasana Printed Dress
£250



Occa 50s Style Dress
£395